Academic libraries are facing uncertain times. The international higher education environment is very volatile and academic libraries and librarians can play a major role in helping to strategically position their parent institution within it. In doing so, there needs to be clarity as to what the position of the academic library is with regard to the role and function it has within the university and how library leadership can have pan-institutional influence and impact. There are several ways in which the academic library can position itself and this collection demonstrates many of these. Strategic alignment with the university and its mission is a fundamental part of successful positioning, as is being flexible, adaptable and responsive to changing needs, requirements and expectations. Developments in research support and scholarly communications, as well as super-convergences with other academic support departments, are examples of such responsiveness.

These topics along with other emerging themes, such as library functions and institutional partnerships and collaborations, are all discussed in the book and provide the reader with a rich variety of reflections and case studies on how academic libraries, from across the globe, have addressed their position within their institution.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal New Review of Academic Librarianship.

chapter |11 pages

Research Support at the Crossroads: Capability, Capacity, and Collaboration

ByLucy Lang, Trish Wilson, Katie Wilson, Aubrey Kirkpatrick

chapter |12 pages

Evolution of Research Support Services at an Academic Library: Specialist Knowledge Linked by Core Infrastructure

BySarah Brown, Elizabeth Alvey, Elena Danilova, Helen Morgan, Amberyn Thomas

chapter |13 pages

Understanding Academics: A UX Ethnographic Research Project at the University of York

ByMichelle Blake, Vanya Gallimore